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Appl Ergon. 2016 Sep;56:213-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2016.04.006. Epub 2016 Apr 22.

Fighter pilots' heart rate, heart rate variation and performance during an instrument flight rules proficiency test.

Author information

1
Human Systems Integration Group, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, United Kingdom. Electronic address: mansikkh@uni.coventry.ac.uk.
2
Systems Analysis Laboratory, Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis, School of Science, Aalto University, P.O.Box 11100, FIN 00076 Aalto, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address: kai.virtanen@aalto.fi.
3
Human Systems Integration Group, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, United Kingdom. Electronic address: don.harris@coventry.ac.uk.
4
Finnish Defence Research Agency, Human Performance Division, Rantatie 66, 04401 Järvenpää, Tuusula, Finland; Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Cognitive Science, Institute of Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address: petteri.simola@mil.fi.

Abstract

Increased task demand will increase the pilot mental workload (PMWL). When PMWL is increased, mental overload may occur resulting in degraded performance. During pilots' instrument flight rules (IFR) proficiency test, PMWL is typically not measured. Therefore, little is known about workload during the proficiency test and pilots' potential to cope with higher task demands than those experienced during the test. In this study, fighter pilots' performance and PMWL was measured during a real IFR proficiency test in an F/A-18 simulator. PMWL was measured using heart rate (HR) and heart rate variation (HRV). Performance was rated using Finnish Air Force's official rating scales. Results indicated that HR and HRV differentiate varying task demands in situations where variations in performance are insignificant. It was concluded that during a proficiency test, PMWL should be measured together with the task performance measurement.

KEYWORDS:

Heart rate; Pilot mental workload; Pilot performance

PMID:
27109324
DOI:
10.1016/j.apergo.2016.04.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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